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Kazakhstan to rebuff criminals using religious slogans as cover — FM

June 20, 15:17 UTC+3 ASTANA
If anyone uses religious movement as a cover for illegal activities, as in Aktobe, the state will rebuff them resolutely
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Kazakh Foreign Minister Yerlan Idrisov

Kazakh Foreign Minister Yerlan Idrisov

© EPA/LASZLO

ASTANA, June 20. /TASS/. Kazakhstan is committed to the freedom of worship but will standup against those who commit illegal actions under religious slogans, Kazakh Foreign Minister Yerlan Idrisov said on Monday.

"Should any groups of population use the names of these or those religious movements as a cover for their illegal activities, such disgusting ones as in Aktobe, the state will rebuff them resolutely," he said.

When asked about Kazakhstan’s attitude to states where Salafism is a dominating religion, Idrisov said that it is necessary to "clearly distinguish between religious theories and practices."

"It is necessary to draw a division line between real adherers to this or that religious movement and those who use these movements to engage in different activities," he said.

A group of Salafi followers (the Salafists are an ultra-conservative movement in Sunni Islam) attacked arms shops and a National Guard unit in Aktobe (formerly known as Aktyubinsk) on June 5. Eight people, including 3 servicemen, were killed and dozens were wounded.

Later on, chief of the regional department of the National Security Committee Nurlan Kydyrbayev said there are 1,565 Salafists in the region, of whom 90 are potential jihadists.

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